KP Sharma

Chamgang in Thimphu has seen an increase in crime rates over the years, causing residents to advocate for the development of a community police station in their neighbourhood. Concerned citizens met local leaders during the recent dzongkhag tshogdu, emphasising the urgent need for stronger safety measures.

Dargo Pema, Dagala mangmi, addressed her worries at the meeting, claiming that Chamgang’s proximity to the capital city, central prison, and a high school has contributed to the city’s rising crime rate. She stated that the region has grown increasingly dangerous for homeowners, with incidences of adolescents loitering in the evenings, throwing stones at rooftops, irresponsible driving on highways, and excessive noise pollution interrupting the quiet of the entire area. Furthermore, the likelihood of robberies has increased dramatically, putting the neighborhood at risk.

“In light of these issues, we humbly request that the authorities establish a community police station to enhance safety and security,” Dargo Pema requested.

Colonel Namgay, representing the Royal Bhutan Police, answered by highlighting the need to examine population size and crime rates when establishing the need for a community police station. According to him, Dagala Gewog has had the lowest crime rate among other gewogs for the last five years. However, he said that the request would be examined at RBP headquarters and that if the residents’ concerns were determined to be true, the building of a police station in Chamgang would be considered.

The problem of insufficient policing was not limited to Dagala Gewog. Chang Gewog, particularly Yoeselpang and Hongtsho have also expressed a desire for a police station since 2020.

According to Jamyang Lhamo, Chang Mangmi, land for a police station in Yusipang and Hongtsho has already been allotted due to the increasing population caused by the establishment of numerous government facilities each year. She went on to say that as the population expands, so does the number of cases of domestic abuse and related crimes.

“When we report crimes to the police, they are often unable to respond promptly due to a lack of vehicles or personnel, leading to delays in investigations,” Jamyang Lhamo said.

Recognising the gravity of the issue, members of the dzongkhag tshogdu acknowledged the escalation and sought appropriate solutions from the relevant authorities. The request for community police stations in Chamgang, Yoeselpang, and Hongtsho expresses the gewogs’ collective concern for increased safety and security, underlining the necessity for proactive steps to prevent crime and preserve people’ well-being.